100,000-Mile Bonus for New AAdvantage Credit Cardholders

UPDATE 10/8/10 - As of October 8, the offer is no longer displayed on American's website, and the landing page for the 100,000-mile promotion now shows a different bonus. Apparently it has discontinued the offer.

Over the past few months I'd heard from several sources that Citibank was offering up to 100,000 miles to new customers for its Citi AAdvantage credit card.

That would be an exceptional bonus, for one of the most popular travel-rewards credit cards, linked to one of the world's best mileage programs.

But the "official" sign-up pages for the card, linked to from American and Citi's websites, only showed bonuses of 25,000 miles, pretty much the industry standard. I went so far as asking American's media relations rep whether the offer was open to the public. Twice. No response.

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I reluctantly concluded that it was a targeted offer.

Still, I debated reviewing the promotion anyway, with the caveat that it appeared to be targeted and some (many, most?) applicants wouldn't receive the outsized bonus. In the end, I decided not to—too many questions, too much uncertainty.

Earlier this week, however, I found a similar offer prominently displayed on the homepage of American's website. This promotion is officially official, open to everyone.

Offer Details

First-time applicants for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa or the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Visa cards can earn as many as 100,000 bonus miles.

Earning the full complement of bonus miles is a three-step affair:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after charging $2,000 during the first four months.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after charging $10,000 during the first year.
  • And earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after charging at least $10,000 during the second year.

There are two versions of the card. The consumer card has an $85 annual fee, waived the first year; the business card fee is $75, also waived the first year.

There's no end date shown in the terms and conditions, so this offer could be terminated at any time.

Deal or No Deal

This is slightly less generous than the recent British Airways 100,000-mile credit card bonus (which seems to have been a targeted offer that the card issuer was happy to extend selectively to non-targeted recipients with a wink and a nod).

I called the British Airways bonus the most lucrative credit card promotion ever, which makes American's among the most lucrative as well. And AAdvantage miles are arguably more valuable than Executive Club miles, so a case could be made that American's promotion trumps British Airways'.

Whether it's the best or just one of the best, it's a great offer.

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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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